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Disciplines and subjects
Generally speaking, the following disciplines and subjects are taught:
- literacy (Cycle 2);
- German, French;
- introduction to science, natural sciences;
- history and geography;
- life and society (social values);
- introduction to aesthetics, artistic creation and culture;
- arts and music;
- physical movement, psychomotor education, sports and health;
- guided activities.
Children are taught to read and write in German. Children begin learning oral French skills in Cycle 1 through recreational activities. Oral skills are the taught systematically in Cycle 2, and writing skills are taught in Cycle 3.1.
Public elementary schools
Elementary school in Luxembourg lasts nine years, divided into four learning cycles as follows:
- Cycle 1: for children three to five years of age. The first year (early learning) is optional.
- Cycle 2: children six to seven years of age
- Cycle 3: children eight to nine years of age
- Cycle 4: children ten to eleven years of age
Each cycle generally covers a period of two school years. At the end of each cycle, pupils will have acquired certain core skills – meaning they will have achieved certain learning objectives – and will then move on to either the next cycle or a secondary school (after completing Cycle 4).
Cycle 1 (early learning)
Children may be admitted to the first year of Cycle 1 (early learning) if they have reached 3 years of age by 1 September of the current year.
Early childhood education aims to stimulate children’s intellectual curiosity, develop their social and cognitive skills, and improve their knowledge of Luxembourgish. At present, attendance is optional and the approach to its organisation can vary from one municipality to the next.
Although school starts on 15 September, admission at the beginning of the second trimester is possible, subject to availability of places.
Parents of children reaching the age at which they can enter early education are contacted in good time and in writing by the Service Enseignement (Education Department) so that they may enrol their child, if they wish to do so.
If you are the parent of an eligible child and have not received this invitation to enrol by 1 June, please contact the Service Enseignement directly.
Cycle 1 (preschool)
In order to offer all children the same access to reading and writing when they move up to Cycle 2, activities during Cycle 1 are tailored to each child’s specific needs, linguistic background, and cultural and social environment.
Children are admitted to Cycle 1 of elementary education in the current school year if they have reached the age of 4 by 1 September of that same year. Cycle 1 consists of two mandatory years, known as pre-school.
Initial enrolment in Cycle 1 usually takes place in March or April of the entry year. To this end, a child's parent(s) and/or guardian(s) will be contacted in writing by the Service Enseignement.
If you are the parent of an eligible child and have not received this invitation to enrol by 15 April, please contact the Service Enseignement directly.
Cycles 2 to 4
Children reaching the age of 6 by 1 September of the current year enter the first year of Cycle 2.
In some city districts, classes in the child’s native language and culture are included in the school curriculum. In others, native language and culture courses are offered outside school hours by the embassy or consulate of the country of origin (please contact the appropriate embassy or consulate for further information).
Guidance procedure for choosing a secondary education track
In Cycle 4, pupils receive guidance for transitioning from elementary school to classic secondary education or general secondary education. Parents are involved in the decision-making process.
The class teacher first contacts the parents about this subject at the end of the third trimester of Cycle 4.1 (fifth year of schooling). During this individual meeting, the teacher offers an initial opinion on the pupil's educational prospects based on interim results and the pupil's work during the past school year. The pupil's objectives for Cycle 4.2 are determined. The parents also receive information on the secondary education options available and, if applicable, any specific options that may suit their child in particular.
At the end of Cycle 4, the parents and the class teacher reach a mutual decision on the pupil's track based on the pupil's cumulative work during Cycle 4 (4.1 and 4.2). This decision takes into account the pupil's skills, interests and aspirations, as well as their interim results (4.1 and 4.2), scores on standardised tests (4.2) and information gathered by a psychologist, if the parents have chosen to consult one.
If the class teacher and parents disagree on the pupil's track, a guidance committee is convened to make the final decision. The parents are also invited to meet with this committee.